HomeAIInterview: Fujitsu AI Head Amitkumar Shrivastava On Role Of AI In Driving Future Innovations

Interview: Fujitsu AI Head Amitkumar Shrivastava On Role Of AI In Driving Future Innovations

"We've teamed up with Astroscale UK, the University of Glasgow, and AWS to combine quantum-inspired computing and AI to speed up space debris removal a mission by UK Space agency," Shrivastava added.

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Speaking to TechGraph, Amitkumar Shrivastava, Head of AI at Fujitsu, Fujitsu Fellow & Global Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer discusses the company’s societal commitment and the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the company’s future innovations and technological advancement.

Read the complete interview.

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TechGraph: Fujitsu has been in the IT industry for 80 years. How has the company evolved and adapted to the changing technological landscape during this time?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: Our journey is a tale of resilience and innovation. Born from the ashes of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. rebuilt Japan’s infrastructure, particularly the telecommunications network. This innovative spirit led to Fujitsu Limited’s founding in 1935, initially focusing on telephone equipment. The narrative took a significant turn with the development of Japan’s first computer, the FACOM 100. This introduced Fujitsu to the computer business and reaffirmed our commitment to societal advancement.

The 1950s saw bold investments in computing, propelling our ascendancy in the industry with successive FACOM computers. The ’70s witnessed our acceptance of international standardization, strengthening our global presence. The advent of personal computing in the ’80s prompted us to launch the FMV series, a milestone in our business. The 1990s marked a shift from hardware to software and services, in sync with ICT transformations. As the new millennium dawned, we embraced the Internet era, leading in ICT with significant contributions through data centers, servers, and mobile networks.

Focusing on emerging technologies such as cloud computing, AI, IoT, and cybersecurity characterized our 2010s journey. Strategic acquisitions have diversified our portfolio and broadened our global footprint. Post 2020s, our focus is centered on five key tech areas: computing, network, AI, data & security, and convergent technologies. Developments include Computing as a Service (CaaS), the Kozuchi Artificial Intelligence Platform, the Fujitsu Web3 Acceleration Platform, and the 1FINITY Ultra Optical System.

A noteworthy feather in our cap is our distinction in supercomputing. We etched our name in history by developing the world’s fastest supercomputers: K in 2011 and, more recently, Fugaku in 2020, which retained its supremacy in 2023 again.

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Additionally, the Fujitsu Group holds about 100,000 pending and granted patents worldwide, showing our commitment to innovation. Today, Fujitsu is unwavering in leveraging its technological expertise to address societal challenges, enrich human well-being, and weave a future where technology and humanity coexist harmoniously.

TechGraph: What sets Fujitsu apart from other technology companies in terms of solutions and services?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: Fujitsu stands on a foundation built on decades of experience. This time-tested expertise and resilience differentiate us from other technology companies, as we have proven our ability to navigate change and embrace innovation, whatever the circumstances. Our depth and breadth of hardware and software development knowledge and in-house expertise, honed over decades, empower us to deliver integrated, efficient, and sustainable solutions. This long-standing capability distinguishes Fujitsu in an ever-evolving technology landscape.

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Fujitsu continues to lead the way in digital transformation, pioneering advancements in computing, network, AI, data & security, and converging technologies to accelerate sustainable manufacturing, Consumer experiences, healthy living, Trusted Society, Digital Shifts, and Hybrid IT. These forward-looking strategies are grounded in Fujitsu’s legacy of adaptability and resilience.

Fujitsu technology is used from the ocean to space, but beyond technology, Fujitsu’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility reflects its long-held values. The company is determined to create environmentally friendly technologies and contribute to societal progress, demonstrating maturity and foresight earned through its rich history.

The unique principles of Kaizen (continuous improvement) and Ikigai (reason for being), stemming from Fujitsu’s Japanese heritage, are interwoven into its business ethos. This melding of time-tested wisdom, innovative solutions, and sustainable practices establishes Fujitsu as a partner rather than merely a technology provider.

TechGraph: Fujitsu’s mission is to “create a networked society that is sustainable and prosperous.” How does the company’s technology contribute to this goal?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: Fujitsu’s commitment to creating a sustainable and prosperous networked society spans various sectors. Our approach marries IoT and advanced analytics in our Virtual Connected Care in the healthcare domain. This platform transforms healthcare delivery by enabling Remote Patient Monitoring, which empowers patients and cost-effectively improves access to high-quality care.

Utilizing connected Internet of Medical Things devices, our system anticipates patient deterioration early. This promotes safety and efficiency in patient management across diverse care settings – at home, in the community, or a hospital. Our partnerships with government entities and universities supplement this, allowing us to innovate and optimize care in a continuous process.

Simultaneously, Fujitsu is revolutionizing its approach to societal issues. By integrating natural science, social science, and the humanities, we’re working on initiatives like “Human Sensing”, which utilizes AI for behavior analysis, and “Human Enhancement”, which leverages behavioral economics and computer science to predict and encourage beneficial changes in human behavior.

Our “Social Digital Twin” project, which creates real-time digital representations of society using data from numerous sensors and terminals, helps analyze and address complex societal problems. And our “Social Design” theme optimizes public policy formulation and service delivery. Our Live Talk software promotes inclusive communication in diverse settings and situations, like information booths at international events, tourist sites, or business meetings where multiple languages are spoken. Furthermore, our advancements in “multi-biometric authentication” technology aim to create a universally applicable identity verification infrastructure.

Through these multifaceted endeavors, Fujitsu aims to stimulate appropriate changes in human behavior to tackle social problems. This will create a resilient, adaptable, and prosperous society. Our overarching goal is to ensure people can live safely and peacefully in a sustainably networked society.

Additional input in case the question is more about “Networking Technology”

Fujitsu’s mission to create a sustainable and prosperous networked society is evident in its innovative technologies and strategic collaborations. Through its partnership with the University of Toronto, Fujitsu has utilized Quantum-inspired Digital Annealer technology to enhance telecommunications network transformations. This optimization reduces operating and transportation costs, improving sustainability and overall efficiency.

Fujitsu has also developed the world’s most efficient power amplifier for 6G high-speed communication in line with its mission. This breakthrough technology enables faster and more reliable wireless communication while consuming less power. The result is a highly connected and prosperous society with enhanced communication capabilities.

Fujitsu actively contributes to environmental sustainability by introducing energy-efficient solutions. Our liquid cooling systems, advanced technologies like 135 GBAUD transponders, and advanced RAMAN amplification minimize power consumption. These advancements are crucial to creating a sustainable networked society that balances connectivity with environmental responsibility. Our advancements show the way for a future where high-speed connectivity is achieved environmentally and responsibly.

TechGraph: With the rise of cloud computing and digital transformation, how has Fujitsu adjusted its business model to stay competitive and meet changing customer needs?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: Fujitsu, adapting to the evolving tech landscape, has amplified investments in cloud services and formed strategic partnerships with top cloud providers. We now offer tailored cloud solutions, manage our clients’ cloud infrastructure, and guide them through digital transformation.

Key initiatives like Fujitsu Transformation (Fujitra) and Fujitsu Uvance demonstrate our commitment to innovation. Fujitra applies agile and design thinking principles for internal transformation. Uvance focuses on external-facing business lines, expands service in Key Focus Areas, and strengthens our delivery system. Our digital consulting unit, Ridgelinez, was also established to strengthen our digital transformation commitment.

We’re actively creating cutting-edge cloud-based products and solutions, investing in robust cybersecurity measures, and championing sustainability with green technologies. Furthermore, we’re collaborating and co-creating closely with leading cloud providers and clients for personalized cloud solutions. Recently we also started providing computing services through the public cloud.

Fujitsu is dedicated to staying ahead of trends, remaining competitive, and meeting our client’s needs in this dynamic tech landscape. It is also committed to sustaining our core business.

TechGraph: Fujitsu is heavily involved in artificial intelligence and quantum computing development. How do these emerging technologies transform industries and societies, and what role does Fujitsu play in this transformation?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: Artificial intelligence (AI) is a catalyst and pioneering force in today’s business landscape, potentially revolutionizing society, the economy, and the environment. Fujitsu’s mission is to ignite sustainable innovation through AI-powered technology. Our diverse solutions promote democratization and make AI secure and universally accessible. We have over 6000+ AI solutions deployed worldwide.

Unique among vendors, Fujitsu excels in deploying end-to-end AI solutions. We work closely with customers to swiftly and efficiently convert AI proofs of concept (POCs) into tangible business value. Our recently launched Kozichu AI platform illustrates this commitment. It facilitates prompt testing of Fujitsu’s cutting-edge AI technologies, with two core components – AI Innovation Components, representing pre-packaged AI technologies, and AI Core Engines, embodying Fujitsu’s foundational AI technology.

This duo empowers customers to validate business applications rapidly from a modest base, accelerating AI implementation. We apply our expertise in various sectors like manufacturing and retail to enable smart transformations. Our offerings range from workflow analysis and product defect detection to production line optimization for smart factories.

In retail, we support smart store concepts using our world-class Actlyzer solution to analyze consumer behavior, enhancing personalized shopping experiences. Our initiatives extend to urban environments where we pioneer smart city technologies for the early detection of suspicious activities through surveillance systems. This ensures a safer society.

Furthermore, we acknowledge the importance of explainable AI and have solutions like WideLearning and Deep Tensor to support this. Fujitsu is a founding member of AI4People, dedicated to AI ethics. Here, we’ve pledged our commitment to ethical AI and strive to implement practical applications that eliminate bias and discrimination. We’re making significant strides in healthcare—an example is cancer treatment. Fujitsu’s AI and supercomputers have fast-tracked research on drug resistance in cancer, accomplishing what would normally take 4000 years in a single day.

Our Fujitsu AutoML solution exemplifies our dedication to AI democratization. It empowers individuals with limited machine-learning knowledge to generate accurate machine-learning models, making AI more accessible. We also ensure safer roads and rivers in Japan, reflecting our commitment to a smarter, safer, and more efficient society through AI.

Fujitsu has heavily invested in quantum computing, conducting research and development across all technical areas, from devices to software. Fujitsu and Osaka University have revealed the development of a new quantum computing architecture, accelerating progress toward quantum computers’ practical application. The newly developed computing architecture lays the foundation for constructing a quantum computer with 10,000 physical qubits and 64 logical qubits. This corresponds to a computing performance of approximately 100,000 times that of conventional high-performance computers. Additionally, Fujitsu has teamed up with the scientific research institute Riken to become the first Japanese company to provide quantum computers for research projects by the end of the year.

At the same time, we have Fujitsu’s Digital Annealer solution that provides an alternative to quantum computing technology, which is currently very expensive and challenging. The Digital Annealer computational architecture bridges the gap to the quantum world and paves the way for much faster and more efficient solving of today’s business problems. Our quantum-inspired computing solution solves large-scale combinatorial optimization problems unsolvable using classical computers. Some real-world use cases are Drug Discovery, Factory Optimization, low-risk portfolio optimization, warehouse inventory management, etc., and we have worked on them.

TechGraph: Cybersecurity is a major concern for businesses and governments worldwide. How does Fujitsu help its clients protect their data and systems from cyber threats?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: Fujitsu offers an extensive suite of cybersecurity solutions to protect its clients’ data and systems from cyber threats. Their approach is intelligence-led and proactive, consistently monitoring IT activity to identify threats and vulnerabilities, facilitating informed decision-making, and staying ahead of potential external threats.

Robust management of cybersecurity platforms, comprehensive visibility of events for early threat detection, and regular system scans to spot vulnerabilities before they escalate are integral parts of this approach. Fujitsu’s solutions also extend to ensuring compliance with ever-changing regulations and maintaining resilience in the face of potential attacks.

With Fujitsu’s 24/7/365 proactive monitoring and incident response, clients can rapidly react to changing conditions, recover quickly after an attack, and anticipate future events. Fujitsu Cyber Security Consulting further enhances this with comprehensive services, including Security Advisory and Assessment Services, Strategy Programs & Standards, Security Incident Management, and Resilience and Continuity.

Fujitsu’s cybersecurity approach also factors in modern businesses’ decentralization and distributed networks. This involves leveraging novel digital identity technology, multi-biometric authentication, and privacy protection to ensure data and system security. In light of increasing interoperability and transparency, Fujitsu has developed data trust technologies like Data e-TRUST Service, IDYX, CDL, and Trust Transfer Technology. These technologies ensure secure data exchange and prevent business data tampering.

Fujitsu is also venturing into Web3 applications and services, offering a developmental environment and service APIs based on blockchain and high-performance computing technologies through its Web3 Acceleration Platform. The platform leverages Fujitsu’s proprietary technologies like IDYX, CDL, transparent trust transfer technology, and ConnectionChain for secure and authentic transactions.

The company’s Data & Security Research Laboratory is involved in R&D projects like Blockchain Economy, Decentralized Trust as a Service (DTaaS), Trusted Web, and AI Cyber Security. These projects aim to enhance security and trust in AI systems and enhance trustworthy data exchange. Fujitsu is also leading open-source projects like Hyperledger Cactus to connect different blockchains securely.

Fujitsu has developed an AI solution to prevent fraud at self-checkout points in retail shops as part of its focus on retail cybersecurity. Combining AI technologies with cybersecurity solutions provides a comprehensive and layered approach to protecting businesses from cyber threats. Fujitsu’s strategy involves advanced technologies, strategic partnerships, continuous R&D, and an intelligence-led approach to offering comprehensive cybersecurity solutions that protect its clients’ data and systems.

TechGraph: Fujitsu has a strong focus on sustainability and environmental impact reduction. How does the company’s technology contribute to a more sustainable future, and what steps is Fujitsu taking to reduce its carbon footprint?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: Known for its commitment to green initiatives, Fujitsu invests in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green data centers. Our company is leading the way in sustainable technology by incorporating eco-design principles into product development, promoting sustainable practices in its supply chain, engaging employees in environmental initiatives, and maintaining transparency through reporting.

Fujitsu is making substantial strides in sustainability and environmental impact reduction. However, these efforts also align with their belief in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The company envisions a future where over 9 billion people thrive within our planet’s boundaries by 2050. To achieve this, the company is leveraging digital transformation (DX), harnessing advanced technologies to foster ecosystems that transcend industry boundaries, facilitate societal transformations, and address global challenges.

Regarding specific sustainability strategies, the company has developed a comprehensive roadmap to zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Under their “Fujitsu Climate and Energy Vision,” the goal is to decrease their carbon footprint and contribute to a broader societal shift towards decarbonization. This ambitious target is supported by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which endorses scientifically sound strategies. The company’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond carbon emissions reduction.

They believe in ICT’s potential to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Using cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, and simulations, the aim is to develop solutions that build resilient societal infrastructures and minimize climate change-induced damage. These strategies involve enhancing agricultural supply stability, minimizing food loss, and creating more efficient manufacturing processes. One such example is their collaboration with SUBARU Corporation, which resulted in the creation of an AI system that manages quality assurance, thereby reducing operational costs and energy consumption.

Addressing global water scarcity issues also forms part of their sustainability initiatives. Fujitsu has developed a pioneering plant-based pure water trading platform in partnership with Britain’s Botanical Water Technologies Ltd (BWT). Utilizing blockchain technology to enable traceability and promote water-positive activities, this innovative approach conserves water resources in regions facing water scarcity by repurposing wastewater from food factories.

Additionally, Fujitsu’s tablets and notebooks follow global environmental safety standards and come with Energy Star certification. Tracing its commitment to sustainability back to the 1930s, Fujitsu continues this legacy today with its ambitious Group Environmental Action Plan. As a global ICT company, Fujitsu is uniquely positioned to utilize technology to combat environmental challenges and is committed to shaping a sustainable future for all.

TechGraph: Fujitsu has a presence in many industries, from healthcare to retail to finance. How does the company tailor its solutions to meet the specific needs of each industry it serves?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: We create innovative, sustainable, personalized solutions tailored to each customer’s needs. As I have already touched on some of the work in our discussion, let me provide two interesting works in this space.

Did you know 160 million objects are circling our Earth right now? And most of these are debris that could threaten the satellites we rely on daily. At the moment, we can only track and avoid a tiny fraction of this space junk.

That’s why the UK Space Agency has funded a mission to clean up space debris. Fujitsu is proud to be part of this mission. We’ve teamed up with Astroscale UK, the University of Glasgow, and AWS to combine quantum-inspired computing and AI to speed up space debris removal.

Together, we’re driving forward one of the seven groundbreaking projects the UK Space Agency initiated. Our goal? To track and dispose of hazardous space objects. Our innovative solution will make missions more efficient, letting a single spacecraft select and remove space debris faster than ever before. This is vital for making space sustainable and reducing the risk of collisions with newly conceived and operational satellites.

Using Fujitsu’s quantum-inspired optimization services powered by our digital annealer, we’re finding the most effective ways to decide which debris to collect and when. This approach minimizes the fuel we need and the time it takes to guide defunct satellites back to a disposal orbit. So, not only will this save us a lot of time and money in the planning phase, but it will also make these missions more commercially viable.

The second point I want to discuss is that Fujitsu has launched a cloud-based platform to revolutionize health data collection and usage. Part of Fujitsu Uvance’s Healthy Living vision, the platform automates the conversion of electronic medical records to HL7 FHIR, a next-gen standard, promoting secure data aggregation. It’s a boon for medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies for R&D, accelerating personalized healthcare and drug discovery.

Plans include patient data portability services and precise shared data analysis for medical institutions. Fujitsu aims to build a digital health ecosystem with AI and IoT for preventative healthcare. Key features include automatic medical data conversion, comprehensive health data aggregation, and robust security. Fujitsu envisions AI-based early diagnosis, IoT-enabled health visualization, and personalized insurance plans with this platform in future partnerships with insurance and wellbeing firms.

TechGraph: What are some of the biggest challenges facing the IT industry today, and how is Fujitsu working to address these challenges?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: The IT industry is currently at a pivotal crossroads, facing various challenges. As we navigate a world where hybrid work environments are the standard, businesses grapple with maintaining productivity and fostering collaboration. This new landscape, accompanied by a significant shift towards cloud technologies, introduces heightened complexity and challenges related to data security and compliance.

At Fujitsu, we have responded to these challenges head-on. Throughout the global pandemic, we have ensured continuity and resilience for our customers. Our proactive actions enabled the smooth transition of thousands of employees to remote work, seamlessly and with minimal disruption. This initiative exemplifies Fujitsu’s commitment to adapting swiftly and effectively to changing circumstances, underscoring our ability to support our clients during times of crisis.

At the same time, we’re witnessing the escalating sophistication of cyber threats and global political dynamics exerting considerable influence, presenting substantial risks to IT operations. As I discussed earlier, Fujitsu is dealing with this, and in addition to that, we have dedicated data and security labs that prepare us for any upcoming challenges.

Simultaneously, the industry grapples with an unprecedented talent shortage amidst a wave of resignations, even as emerging technologies such as AI and IoT necessitate continuous upskilling. Fujitsu is committed to supporting our talents with various programs to facilitate their growth.

Additionally, issues like the digital divide, the struggle for technological accessibility and affordability, and tech giant monopolies compound these challenges. Ethical dilemmas like AI, data privacy, and surveillance demand our immediate attention. Fujitsu is committed to addressing these issues through innovative technology solutions and social responsibility.

Moreover, the importance of developing scalable IT systems to support rapid growth cannot be overstated. They’re crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and capitalizing on new opportunities. Fujitsu utilizes advanced technology to develop scalable IT systems for rapid growth. Our commitment to investing in innovative technologies and leveraging strategic partnerships ensures customer satisfaction and allows us to seize new opportunities effectively.

Lastly, the environmental impact of IT operations, an issue often pushed to the sidelines, must be addressed. With an increasing emphasis on sustainability, it is incumbent upon the IT industry to reassess its practices to reduce carbon footprints and contribute to a greener future. Fujitsu aligns with this vision, and as we discussed earlier, sustainability is a core tenet of our operations.

TechGraph: Looking to the future, what new technologies or innovations are Fujitsu working on that could have a major impact on society and the business world?

Amitkumar Shrivastava: Fujitsu’s future involves exciting technology like Generative AI, working with top Japanese universities and research institutes to improve Large Language Models (LLMs) with our supercomputer, Fugaku. The project prioritizes transparency and traceability in training data to address challenges such as the black box problem, bias, and misinformation. This enhances AI systems’ reliability and accountability for AI systems.

Our AI platform, Fujitsu Kozuchi gives businesses worldwide access to cutting-edge AI and machine learning. With features such as Fujitsu AutoML and AI Ethics for Fairness, we’re making AI deployment more reliable and accessible across the manufacturing, finance, and healthcare industries. We are also collaborating with The Linux Foundation to push AI development further.

Another significant innovation is our 64-qubit quantum computer targeted at sectors such as medicines, materials, and financial forecasting. We’re even planning a quantum computer with over 1,000 qubits, a leap that could transform business and societal landscapes.

Our Fujitsu Web3 Acceleration Platform also supports Web3 application development, combining blockchain and high-performance computing technologies. This platform is key to our vision of co-creating solutions for societal issues and fostering the growth of Web3 themes like decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO), digital content rights management, and digital trust. All these initiatives and many more highlight Fujitsu’s commitments to developing technologies that create a more sustainable and inclusive world.

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Krishna Mali
Krishna Mali
Founder & Group Editor of TechGraph.
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